Making the Case: Derrick Henry for MVP

2020 is the first year in quite a while where it’s not actually clear who is going to be awarded MVP. It’s starting to get tiring watching quarterbacks only receive recognition for being the best player in the league — and in a year where no one QB clearly stands out from the rest, the award should be given to Derrick Henry, a runningback, instead.

Let’s face it: Derrick Henry is a special back. If we’re talking dominance, I struggle to think of another player in the NFL, aside from Mahomes, who is able to shred defenses no matter what strategies they throw at him. As an NFL community, we haven’t truly appreciated how special a 2000-yard season really is. Henry has become only the eighth player in NFL history to join the 2k club and his 2020 total rushing yards came in at 6th of all time for a season. Of the seven others in the 2k club, one had more TDs, four won MVP — two of them with less yardage than Henry. This level of dominance from a running back only happens once in a blue moon. Given that no quarterback is clearly deserving of the MVP award, it’s only right that Derrick Henry becomes the successor to Adrian Peterson — who was the last running back to be named NFL MVP, back in 2012.

It is a genuine mystery why Derrick Henry is so low down in the conversation for MVP except for the fact that he’s a running back. Understandably, it’s been incredibly hard in the past to justify giving the award to anyone except a QB — when consistently there’s been a standout player whose resume cannot be matched by any other position. It wasn’t realistic last year to try and give the award to someone not named Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes the year before, but the fact that this year guys like Josh Allen and Ryan Tannehill are in the conversation behind Mahomes and Rodgers shows what an average year it’s been for QBs. Now before Titans and Bills fans starting @ing me on Instagram, (@EJGrafton6048 if you want to hunt me down anyway) I love both those guys, especially Allen who has had a terrific year, but all things considered, that’s a pretty low bar for MVP-caliber talk. The NFL should really capitalize on this year where no one stands out from the crowd and honor Derrick Henry — whose numbers do actually justify MVP in any given year.

It is truly baffling that Derrick Henry, who quite frankly deserves MVP, is hardly in the conversation. If Henry hasn’t made the top three when the voting numbers are released, then we might as well just go ahead and rename it the Most Valuable Quarterback, because if Henry can’t win it this year with an historic season, then I don’t know what the NFL voters would need to see to give it to someone else.